Did you know that macOS Sierra (and Mac OS X El Capitan) have pretty good dictation built-in at no extra cost? Dictation can be faster than typing and a nice change of pace; discover how to enable and use it in this week’s thrilling episode of Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves, only here at The Mac Observer!
Apple’s “hello again” event on Thursday is shaping up to include more than new Mac announcements. A report claims the company will also unveil an Apple TV app that helps TV viewers discover new shows.
The Escape key has been on our keyboards practically since the beginning of time—even the Apple II had one. That’s changing with tomorrow’s MacBook Pro refresh and its Magic Toolbar. The physical Escape key is going virtual, but Apple is including a way to let other keys handle its task.
This Quick Tip is about the spankin’-new Portrait Mode available on the iPhone 7 Plus, which’ll let you take shots with a special depth effect applied. However, if you don’t want your iPhone to keep an additional version of each of your Portrait Mode images, come read this article and find out how to turn that off!
We have a different kind of deal for you today on the Martian Notifier Smartwatch. This device can receive and display notifications, and trigger your smartphone’s camera. You can customize vibration alerts, too. It’s available in black, red, or white, and it’s priced at just $29.99. There are videos on the deal listing, along with more information.
Apple on Tuesday guided December quarter revenue higher than the year-ago quarter, the first time in four quarters that Apple would beat year-over-year sales. That guidance is a mixed bag of good news and meh news, and it’s complicated by a number of factors. Bryan Chaffin examines those factors.
The best analyst questions during Apple’s Q4 2016 Financial Results came from Simona Jankowski with Goldman Sachs. She asked Tim Cook about his perspective on home vs. mobile artificial intelligence agents and then the issue of privacy. Tim Cook took a solid stand on both questions that reveal the future direction of Apple.
Apple seems to have tipped its hand and accidentally revealed the upcoming Retina MacBook Pro in Monday’s macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update. Photos showing the soon to be announced MacBook Pro with a touch sensitive OLED function strip were buried in the macOS update, which is about a close to a pre-event confirmation Apple will get.
Apple reported fiscal fourth quarter revenues of US$46.9 billion with earnings of $9 billion on Tuesday. Earnings per share were $1.67. Those results are down year over year from revenues of $51.5 billion, earnings of $11.1 billion, and EPS of $1.96. Gross margins were 38%, down year-over-year from 39.9%. Apple beat consensus estimates on EPS and guided Q4 revenues higher than consensus.
There has been much written about how Friday’s DDoS attack was made possible by a security hole present in various internet of Things (ioT) devices. The lingering question is: how do we prevent this from happening again? The answer might be sitting right there in your home.
Give us enough time with an app we really like and we’ll find something to improve. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to talk about Apple’s iMessage platform and Messages app, and Bryan has some interface improvements he’d like to see. They also look at the CD collection Apple gave the media with the original iPod, and Jeff notes Apple’s Apple ID Two-Factor authentication setup bug seems to be fixed.
The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil make for a great note taking combo, and MyScript Nebo lets you amp that up with built-in handwriting recognition. Nebo converts what you write into editable text, lets you add formatting, turns your drawings into editable graphics, exports to Microsoft Word or any app that supports text editing, and more. It’s one of our favorite note taking apps, and you can get it for free instead of the usual US$8.99. MyScript says the price drop is temporary, so be sure to grab your copy right away.
When Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.1 and iOS 10.1 on Monday it also slipped tvOS 10.0.1 out, too. The update is available for the fourth generation Apple TV, and offers security and bug fixes, but doesn’t give us iOS 10’s promised single sign-on feature.
Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter earnings conference call is scheduled to start after the market closes this afternoon, Tuesday, October 25th. The Mac Observer will be here to bring you the latest news, announcements, and analysis from the event.
This is your last chance to Pay What You Want for The Award-Winning Mac Bundle. It’s 13 Mac apps, including Drive Genius 4, The Hit List, DeltaWalker 2 Pro, Nisus Writer Pro, Aurora HDR, WinZip 5 Mac, VPN Forever: 3-Yr Subscription, Project Planning Pro, Letter Opener for macOS Mail, Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, Screen Grabber Pro, eXtra Voice Recorder, and PhotoStitcher. That’s a quality list of apps (and services). Pay anything, even a penny, and you get three of them. Beat the average price—$13.03 as of this writing—and get all 13. Beat the leader’s price, and you’ll earn an entry in an iPhone 7 giveaway. You can read all the details on the deal listing.
Remember the first iPod? It was a thing. It held 5GB of music and was the size of a deck of playing cards. And there was no iTunes Store. The music industry was angry at Apple, worried that Steve Jobs wanted everyone to pirate CDs so he could sell us hardware. It was a whole big thing, but journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi reminded us of a tidbit I’d completely forgotten about. Apple sent out iPods to many journalists. Those iPods had music on them—20 albums worth chosen specifically and deliberately by Steve Jobs and the iPod team. And in an effort to show the music industry Apple was their ally, each of those iPods came with those 20 albums on CD. Mr. Hayashi recently found his bundle of CDs. He wrote an interesting post about it, including a list of all 20 albums. Spoiler, there’s a Dylan album, two Beatles albums, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Yo-Yo Ma, the Dave Brubek Quartet, a soundtrack, and more. It’s a fun snapshot look at an age that was radically different than the one we take for granted today.
HomeKit in iOS 10 requires Two-Factor authentication if you plan to remotely control or monitor your smarthome devices. That isn’t a big deal, unless you’re one of the unlucky few who were blocked from switchting to Apple’s more secure password authentication system. The good news is that Apple finally fixed the issue, so HomeKit can be more that your in-home personal assistant again.
We tend to think of robots and AI agents as potentially threatening. But when they’re specifically charged with protecting the human passengers in autonomous cars, there could be some serious shenanigans by aggressive drivers. Even abuse. What if one of those autonomous cars, in turn, does something unexpected? John looks at a mind-numbing scenario.
Parts of the internet ground to a halt on Friday, October 21, when a group of hackers targeted Dyn with a distributed Denial of Service attack. The attack temporarily broke the path to many websites, including Twitter, and blocking similar attacks in the future will be a monumental task because the hackers used the internet-connected devices already in our homes.
David Sparks is a business attorney, Macworld author, podcaster and all around Apple product expert. He’s one of those people who started on one path—an aerospace engineering student—then changed gears to become a law student at Pepperdine University. David tells the story of his law school years and how people often think of law school as more onerous than it really is. His original plan was to be a prosecutor, but then he found that business law for small companies was much more satisfying. We chatted about his interest in all things Mac and the dawn of his Mac Power Users podcast with Katie Floyd in 2009. Today, David is a popular speaker and a fixture in the Mac Community with 346 podcasts and several books. Come take a career journey with me and David.